I’m currently doing a series of reviews on document/receipt/expense management software. I can’t even pin it down to one category as there’s a lot of crossover.
Today the review will be on Hubdoc, which I’ll categorize as being software that’s designed to collect all the documents you need to do a reconciliation. Honestly, what it does is right in it’s name — it’s a hub for your docs.
The ability of Hubdocs to fetch documents — especially bank statements — is its standout feature. It’s so fetch! For those of you with youngins, that’s a cool word, right? But for real, Hubdoc uses its own customized scraper to pull in docs from banks, to utilities, to telecommunications. Since they can build custom scrapes in house, you can request new online services for Hubdoc to link up to (although I don’t know how long a request would take to fulfill).
As a bookkeeper, the most invaluable tool is the bank statements, because not only does it pull in the PDF file, but it’ll also bring in the CSV file. This means that I can use the PDF to verify a bank reconciliation and the CSV file in the event that the bank feed breaks in my accounting software.
Beyond pulling documents in, Hubdoc can also receive documents via email, web upload, or smartphone app. Essentially, it has all the document input bases covered. Whether you’re throwing an HTML, PNG, or PDF document at it, Hubdoc can handle it.
What happens once the documents are in Hubdoc? Let’s go to the next section and see.
Extracting Data and Categorizing
One you have your documents in Hubdoc it’ll look like this:
Your folders are on the left, your file names are in the middle, and the previews are on the right. There’s actually an edit window that’ll pop up on the right if you click on the edit icon, and it looks like this:
The views you have of files are:
- All: All your docs
- Processing: Data extraction is still being performed
- Review: The docs are ready for you to look at
- Failed: The data extraction failed
- Archive: You’ve archived the doc
The default view is All, and this doesn’t sit right with me. It kind of feels like my job is never done as I’m looking at this fire hose of information. The docs that are of interest to me are found in Review and Failed. These docs need my attention.
If you want to review a doc and see all the information that was extracted, you need to click on the edit icon and you’ll see this form view.
You see all those fields. That’s a lot to fill out. Usually Hubdoc can get the Vendor, Date, and Amount correct. Even with that information filled out by Hubdoc, I still have to fill out the following fields in order to publish the doc to my accounting software (in this case it’s Xero):
- Tax Rate (because I’m dealing with a Canadian company — this wouldn’t be a concern to those in the U.S.)
- Publish As
- Status/Account Code (this field changes based on what you publish the document as)
- Bank Account
Those are six things to choose, whereas if I used a bank feed in my accounting software to categorize, I may only have to choose two or three of these things (Contact, Tax Rate, Account Code).
Part of my reason for disliking all the fields is that they are quite tedious to fill out. What do I mean? Fields act more like a drop-down box rather than an omni box. What’s the difference you ask? Well, with a drop-down box, you have to choose from hundreds of contacts, which means lots of scrolling. You can type in letters to narrow it down, but you can’t see what you’re typing, so it’s a bit confusing. With an omni box, you can start typing in the box itself and it’ll narrow down your choices while still allowing you to see what you typed. Omni boxes are much easier to use and if you look at QuickBooks Online or Xero, this is how most, if not all, of their fields work.